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Need For Political Stability In Guinea-Bissau

UN Peacebuilding Arm Stresses Need For Political Stability In Guinea-Bissau After Failed Coup

New York, Nov 26 2008 7:10PM

The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission has called on Guinea-Bissau’s Government and other senior national figures to do all they can to maintain political stability and avoid violence in the wake of last weekend’s unsuccessful coup attempt by dissident elements of the military.

Meeting in New York today, the Commission urged Guinea-Bissau to ensure that the country remains under civilian rule, respects the rule of law and continues to implement its security and defence sector reform plans.

The Commission – which was set up at the end of 2005 to help struggling States avoid the slide back into war or chaos – adopted a series of recommendations and conclusions to try to help consolidate peace in the West African country, which it warned remains extremely fragile.

Renegade military elements launched an armed attack on the residence of President João Bernardo Vieira in the capital, Bissau, early on Sunday morning, using machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. But they were unsuccessful and Mr. Vieira survived the attack, which occurred just one week after legislative elections were staged in a peaceful and orderly manner.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council both condemned the failed assassination attempt and urged all political groups to resolve their differences peacefully.

Guinea-Bissau has struggled to combat growth in drug trafficking and organized crime, and also to sustain economic growth and political stability amid a series of civil conflicts, coups d’état and uprisings in recent decades.

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The Commission’s other recommendations today include a call on donors and the wider international community to continue to constructively engage with Guinea-Bissau as it faces its mounting challenges, such as the drug trade and ongoing political tensions.

“While noting the need to ensure full respect for the election’s results and the rule of law, the international community should continue to assist Guinea-Bissau in maintaining political stability and engaging the newly democratically elected authorities of the country into efforts for the consolidation of peace,” the Commission concluded.

In addition, it called on the UN to help ensure the more rapid implementation of quick impact projects of the UN Peacebuilding Fund, which works with the Commission to try to consolidate peace.

ENDS

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